Small Brindled Beauty (Apocheima hispidaria)
The Small Brindled Beauty is a Geometer often resting in a posture reminding you of an Owlet Moth. Despite the rather dull greyish ground colour is is more richly marked than the similar Pale Brindled Beauty. It is also smaller and partly flies a bit later. It has big feathery yellowreddish antennae. Melanistic forms do occur, but these can be told apart from the Pale Brindled Beauty's melanistic forms by the last part of the wing, which is always lighter in colour than the major part of the wing is. All the time we are talking about the males, for the females are wingless and look like big hairy six-legged spiders. The males, reaching a wingspan of some 35 to 37 mm are among the smaller spring time Geometers.
The Caterpillar of the Small Brindled Beauty is greyish or brownish covered in small hairy warts. It feeds from the end of April till the end of June, than goes underground to pupate. Full grown it is some 33 mm long. It is hard to identify, for it is very similar to many other Geometer Worms.
The Small Brindled Beauty is single brooded and on the wing from February to April, usually most numerous in March. During daylight regularly found resting on tree trunks, sometimes in the vicinity of a female. It flies during the hours of darkness, but is easily attracted to light. Common, though sometimes locally, in Southern England and Southern Wales. Northwards found very locally in Cumbria and Yorkshire. Not found in Scotland and Ireland. In other parts of Europe a rather local species as well, but sometimes appearing in great numbers. Rare in Northern Europe.